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In defence of Coventry, flattened by bombs in WW2


For those who are lost, there will always be cities that feel like home.
Simon Van Booy.

I was sitting at the bar recently, browsing on my phone, as we tend to do these days, and came across the following review on Trip Advisor, which had the heading ‘Coventry should not be on any Tourist Map’. The review was submitted by someone under the name of ‘bobswinarski’. This is what he wrote, quote:

“I’ll say it again. Coventry is an ugly dirty, beat-up broken-down violent shit hole that is definitely far off any tourist map.

I can see no other reason to go there other than to gaze at the mire of its post-industrial landscape of bordered up factories and weed-strewn car parks, it’s a wretchedly horrible place with some of the ugliest samples of the human species on record.

It’s ugly It’s littered strewn and dirty. It smells like ass.

It’s bleak It’s depressing It’s dire.

The inhabitants are largely dirty, nose picking uneducated, ignorant, loud-mouthed drunken rabble.

Watch them they bite! Worst of all they are extremely unfriendly and wary of anybody not from ‘Cov’.

Public drunkenness and prostitution seem to be the major pastimes of the female population.

‘So there, send that to Fodor!’”

Unquote.

Not all our friend said is true, Coventrians do not bite visitors, at least I don’t think they do. They do, however, support freedom of expression and speech, so all we can say is, “Fuck you, you foreign git.” Today,

Coventry is the fastest growing city in Britain, north of London, mainly due to international migration and acceptance of refugees, who seem quite happy to take advantage of everything this beat-up, broken-down, violent, shithole has to offer.

We should not forget, Coventry was devastated during World War Two, and had to start again, and its people rebuilt their lives, just like the refugees today!

One morning some time ago, I was walking close to my accommodation in Bangkok, when a friendly, local Thai gentleman wished me good morning, stopped, and asked me where I came from. I explained that I came from a city in England called Coventry and asked him if he knew it. He replied, laughing, that he didn’t know it, but had been sent to Coventry many times.

I was surprised that he knew the phrase, ‘Sent to Coventry’. He knew what it meant but had no idea where it originated.

To send someone to Coventry is an English idiom, meaning to deliberately ostracise someone. Typically, this is done by not talking to them, avoiding someone’s company, and generally pretending that they no longer exist. Victims are treated as though they are completely invisible and inaudible.

I explained to my new friend that it is believed that the origin dates back to the English Civil War (1642-49), Coventry was a strong Parliamentarian town. Due to this, Royalist soldiers, stationed in or near Coventry, would be totally ignored by the locals. Excluded from taverns and all merrymaking in general, royalists would be forced to endure a very miserable existence.

As a result, the term, to be sent to Coventry, came to mean to be excluded from events or to be a social outcast. My Thai friend went on his way quite happily.

More by this author in his newly-published biography, Happy Jack: Reflections of Growing Up During the Sixties – A Decade of Rebellion, Change and Defining Moments

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